Welcome to our first blog post!! So glad you decided to drop by and follow along on our journey “Project Ligar St”
Firstly, let me introduce myself, I’m Sarah, owner of Soul Home Styling + Interiors, Mama to Isla, and currently 25 weeks pregnant with bub 2. Along the way, you will meet my little fam, the chippy and my partner Alistair (I’ll refer to him as Al) and i’ll share with you all the nitty gritty bits of the reno, the boring stuff aka paperwork and the pretty stuff (my fav).
So to get started, i’ll give you a little look at the journey of our lives and how we got to today!
So 5 years ago, Al and I purchased our first home in Colac, it was a 1960’s yellow brick home, with very dated interiors, but the bones were great! So from there we set out to cosmetically change the home, first thought we were renovating to rent, then about half way through the first 12 months we then decided we would sell. Now this was meant to be a 12 month flip, but hello to 5 years later, a baby girl and 2 dogs, we definitely weren’t in a rush to move. We always looked (well I did) on realestate.com at all the new listings weekly to try find our dream property, a classic weatherboard with a beautiful facade that we could also renovate! Now a lot of the ones we came across either were way to much work, or we didn’t like the original look of the home. This was crucial for both of us to find a home with a facade that we could work with.
Now in between this whole process, my partner started his own business, “Costin Construction” and 12 months ago I created SOUL, so we now both run our own businesses’ and we knew that together, a chippy and an interior stylist could do some pretty cool things, and renovating homes was on the top of our list!!
Now fast track to early this year, when we had just found out we were pregnant with bub 2, this amazing green/blue weatherboard came on the market, it was everything we had dreamed of, North of the highway (this is key to owning properties in our town, Colac) weatherboard, perfect facade (Californian Bungalow) and a lot of POTENTIAL!!
I arranged a private inspection, and as soon as we walked through those doors I could tell this was the ONE! I knew I would have some convincing to do on Al, I could truly see this being our next home. BUT, as soon as we got home Al had already printed off the original floor plans and was designing a new floor plan! I nearly choked on my dinner, I couldn’t believe I didn’t have to persuade him into doing it. So from there we put in an offer, it was accepted that day and bam, the rest is history!
Now, we decided to tackle this reno as Owner Builder, what is that you might ask…
“An owner–builder is someone who takes responsibility for domestic building work carried out on their own land. An owner–builder is responsible for obtaining building permits, supervising or undertaking the building work, and ensuring the work meets building regulations and standards”
This is the first time we are doing something like this, so its been a learning curve for both Al and I, originally after speaking with the local council we were going to send off our plans so that the permits would come back in time for settlement and we could get stuck right into it, so with this we needed a statutory declaration from the owner of Ligar St to state she was happy for us to act as an agent for the property. So once we got those documents we were ready to send off the plans. But a hiccup occurred and VBA (Victorian Building Association) said the titles had to be in our name before they will approve anything. This was a big set back for us, as each permit takes up to 4-6 weeks to be approved, and with bub 2 due early October we started to worry this may start cutting it fine. But all in all, we have been able to finalise more of the floor plan and really get it to how we want it.
Lets talk floor plans now.
We tried to keep as many original walls in as possible and keep the original plumbing as-well to save on costs, so with this we decided to keep the ensuite and bathroom on the same side the bathroom was previously (see below for original floorplan) by doing this, it saves us money to splurge elsewhere on the house.
We are also removing the top floor and taking the home back to its former glory of a single story home (totally did not mean to rhyme that) So as you can see we are doubling the size of the original home, and opting for a big open plan living area that will be north facing. One of my top requests for this home was a lot of natural light, as our previous home was south facing the only room that got the best sunlight was the laundry, and nobody wants to hang out in a laundry, unless is looks super pretty!
We originally were putting in a walk in robe, but after many designs, I just wasn’t happy with the size and the space, so I opted for an L shape built in style of cabinetry. This has definitely given our master a more spacious feel, and i thought to myself, I’m not having a WIR for the sake of having a WIR. I’m extremely happy we ended up changing it.
We also worked closely with the architect and have managed to achieve a 6 star energy rating, which is so great for an existing build/reno.
A few tips to achieve a 6 star energy rating is:
1. Insulate the walls, floor and ceiling, in the existing build as well as the new build, most old homes don’t have any insulation at all.
2. Add double glazed windows.
3. Wrap your walls before any external cladding or brick work goes up. This is called sealing of the building envelope.
4. Keep your downlight’s to a maximum of 30 if permitted
5. If applicable choose a concrete slab, as it holds greater thermal values compared to a conventional timber/stump design.
So with all that being said, we have started some basic demo work and are doing as much as allowed before the permits arrive and all the big things start taking shape. If there are any questions you’d liked answered, whether that be from myself from an interior perspective, or Al about all the construction goss, just drop us a comment below. Or feel free to ask my 2 and half year old something, I can guarantee her answer will either be “for god sake” or “sure”.
So thats it from me today, I’ll continue to update you along the way, with any important info that may come in handy for you if you’re renovating or are thinking about starting. I’ll try share as much as I can.
Next post, I’ll be sharing more on our vision board and how we are going to bring it all together.